After riding through the night, Ross Rader broke the record for cycling across Ontario today. Ã‚Â The previous record, held by Ron Dossenbach (pictured with Ross at left), was 35 hours 43 minutes. Ã‚Â Ross battled rain and cold over the 874 km route from Ottawa to Windsor, setting a new record with an unofficial time of 35 hours even.Rader made the ride to raise awareness andÃ‚Â donationsÃ‚Â for childhood cancer charityÃ‚Â Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“More than 1700 kids are going to be told that they have cancer this year,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Rader. Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll ride to the ends of the earth if it will make a difference for even one child.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Hawaii Rides set includes StrenDurance, Oceanside Ride and Maui Rollers.Ã‚Â The 3-pack retails for $75.00, or you can buy each one individually for $30.Ã‚Â They also offer two videos shot in Italy: Speed & Power and Climbing Sufferage.Prior to the coaching, there’s a warm-up period that scrolls through photos of the islands. The cycling workouts vary in length, and you’ll get either Pilates, Yoga or Strength Training sessions following the ride.Ã‚Â Each of us reviewed one DVD in the set, click on the picture of the individual DVD’s below to enlarge and you can read the back panel in full.RIDER REVIEWS:Maui Rollers, reviewed by Tyler (road and mountain biker):The Maui Rollers DVD follows some of the coast of Hawaii and is, as the title suggests, a series of rollers, but they seem to go mostly up.Ã‚Â You have to shift gears to adjust the cadence and effort to match what you’re watching and what the coach is telling you to do, so how much you get out of it is directly tied to how much you put into it.As mentioned, I tend to let my mind wander and in the past I’ve caught myself staring into space with a pedal cadence of about 20 RPM.Ã‚Â With these, I was engaged enough with the scenery and trying to do what the coach was suggesting that I kept the workout intensity up pretty well.Ã‚Â In fact, the 45 minute session felt like only 20…and anything that can make an indoor trainer workout go fast gets some kudos.Ã‚Â As far as watching this versus DVD’s of Le Tour or something, it’s different, and it has multiple coaching options on each DVD to keep it fresh, so it’s a good alternative when you’re *gasp* bored with watching Lance dance his way up the Sestriere.Ã‚Â Even though it was only 45 minutes (plus warmup and cool down), it was a pretty solid workout…the quads were burnin’.The Yoga section on this DVD is good as a post-workout stretching routine, and it has cycling specific stretches to help open up the hips and stretch the hamstrings and lower back.Ã‚Â It’s a fairly long Yoga routine, not just a little something tacked on to say it’s there, and it’s well coached.Ã‚Â The only downside is it tends to move a little quickly, especially for those not used to the poses.Ã‚Â Here’s a sample video from the Maui Rollers DVD:Oceanside Rides – Reviewed by Rob (road and mountain biker)The two best things I can say about the DVD is that the scenery of Hawaii is beautiful and the Pilates bonus feature at the end really works your body.Ã‚Â The cycling video part, though, could use some improvement.Ã‚Â The entire program feels like someone took a spin class and recorded the audio then combined it with some techno music (which I liked, but not everyone will appreciate).Ã‚Â Then they took some jerky home video from a route that someone had ridden in a car, motorcycle, ect. and combined all three together.Ã‚Â The result is a video with some cool music, scenery, and a spin class coach in the background that sort of misses the mark as a workout video, but it does provide some cool shots of Hawaii if you have nothing else to watch on the trainer.Ã‚Â The video lacks any on screen metrics to tell you where you are like in spinervals or a CTS workout video.Ã‚Â Basically you are just listening to a spin class with some cool scenery and music in the background. Finally, the music was louder than the coaches so even if you were trying to follow their advice you couldn’t hear them clearly.However,Ã‚Â I did like the fact you can turn the coaching on and off as well as the music.Ã‚Â Also, the option to hear the coaching done in different languages was pretty cool.Ã‚Â The Australian chick sounded really hot!!Editor’s Note (Tyler): I agree about the on-screen metrics.Ã‚Â An incline graphic or time-to-finish would help you adjust your effort level…visually it’s hard to tell how steep the incline is just from the video.StenDurance – Reviewed by Mick (triathlete)Typically trainer rides are endured in the cold/dark winter days and training DVDs are an attempt to fight the boredom of the indoor ride.This DVD knocks off the cold of winter with its beautiful scenes of Hawaii and pumps out a workout that makes the most of your time on the trainer. The music gets your legs moving, and the training sets are well coordinated with the beautiful Hawaii scenery.Riding indoors is more intense and challenging than riding outdoors and requires more motivation. This DVD sucks you into the scenery and takes you into the beautiful Hawaiian landscape and makes staying in the saddle much less of a mental challenge than staring at the wall or TV show. The coaches add to the motivation to keep with it. The workout is challenging and leaves you feeling like youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had a great ride and vacation from the dreary days of winter when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re done.BIKERUMOR RATING:The Global Rides aren’t so exciting that you look forward to trainer rides (what is, really?), but once you’ve dragged yourself onto the bike, they certainly make it bearable, and they tend to push you to actually get a good workout in.Ã‚Â For that, they’re commendable, and the various workout/yoga/pilates sessions and pretty good, too.Ã‚Â However, the quality of the video could be slightly better (there are rain drops on the camera for the first section of the Maui Rollers vid), and it really needs some sort of timing and elevation or intensity graphic to help illustrate what the coaches are saying.Ã‚Â Target heartrate goals (as a percentage) or power outputs would also be helpful for those who use such training tools.Ã‚Â As is, they’re a good visual distraction with some OK coaching and decent post-ride workouts, but they’re not a very scientific training tool.Ã‚Â For the price, we think they should offer a little more technical info and graphics, but if you’re bored with everything else you’ve got to watch, they’re worth checking out.Ã‚Â We give them 3.5 Thumbs Up. BIKERUMOR.com REVIEW: We actually received Global Ride’s DVD’s in early Summer, but we procrastinated and kept riding outdoors.Ã‚Â Now that it’s dark by the time the work is done, and in some parts there’s snow on the ground, we’ve put these things in the DVD player and put them to the test.Global Ride’s Hawaii Rides DVD set is a collection of three cycling workouts followed by three different cross training routines that tie into the spin session on that disc.Ã‚Â Each cycling workout follows different scenic roads through Hawaii, offering a visual distraction from the sometimes (usually) boring time spent on the trainer and, if you’re like me, they help keep you focused on riding hard enough.Ã‚Â My mind tends to wander, resulting in slower, easier spinning until I snap to.Ã‚Â With the Global Ride training DVDs, you have three different coach “tracks” to choose from on each DVD, so you’re reminded to pedal harder, faster or whatever the specific workout requires.Three of us tried one DVD each.Ã‚Â If you typically spend a lot of time on the trainer in the winter, check out what our three testers have to say about the DVD’s after the break…
Increased property values in Prairie Village will require the city to hold a special election on property tax rates under the state’s new tax lid provision.Count Prairie Village Mayor Laura Wassmer among the growing contingent of officials scratching their heads about the passage of a provision in the state tax bill that requires cities to put property tax increases that exceed the consumer price index before residents for a vote.Wassmer was an early critic of the bill, urging Prairie Village residents to contact legislators before the provision went to a final vote earlier this month. But the tax lid provision was included in the controversial tax package passed by the House in the early hours of June 12, and was signed into law by Gov. Brownback several days later.Since the bill was signed into law, the tax lid provision has drawn increased scrutiny from editorial boards and municipal officials across the state. Wassmer continues to maintain that it’s a gross overreach by a group of legislators that have had problems of their own keeping the state’s finances stable.“I believe local taxing decisions are best left to locally elected officials; this issue is unrelated to the state budget. This proposal did not receive a hearing and was passed without public notice, input, research or testimony, which is improper and does not represent good government,” Wassmer said. “This is an erosion of choice by local elected officials and is some Kansas legislators’ effort to control city and county budgets from Topeka.”As written, the bill is tied to the total amount of property tax revenue a city brings in, not its property tax rate. So cities that experience a significant boost in assessed valuation would in many cases actually be forced to cut their existing mill levies instead of taking in more revenue. That provision could cause headaches in cities like Prairie Village, where the city council struggled to make ends meet during a period of stagnant or declining property valuations during the depths of the recession, putting off maintenance projects in hopes of rebounding values a few years down the road. Under the new tax lid bill, instead of reaping the benefits of rising property values with revenue that could be spent on deferred roads or parks projects, Prairie Village would have to hold a public election at a cost of approximately $60,000 just to keep its current mill levy intact.Assistant to the City Administrator Nolan Sunderman compiled the following document showing which years Prairie Village would have had to put its tax rate before voters. The city would have been required to hold public elections five times since 2006:https://dfv6pkw99pxmo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Property-Tax-Levies-and-Collection.pdfThe election provision also presents an unworkable logistical issue for cities. Under state law, cities must present their adopted budgets to the county by August 25. Elections can only be held in November — long before cities have their next year’s budgets ready to consider — or late August — far too late in the budget process for cities to incorporate a tax increase or decrease into their decisions.“This scheduling and process is still unclear,” Sunderman said. “In practice, a budget is established with the mill levy in August but an election cannot be held until late August or in November. The legislation is not clear on this item.”Wassmer also worries that the legislature’s decision to increase sales taxes statewide while implementing the tax lid provision puts border cities like Prairie Village in a special bind.“With limits on property tax revenue, cities will become more reliant on sales taxes,” Wassmer said. “With the recent increase in state sales tax and with our community on the state border, we could see a decrease in sales tax if residents choose to shop in other areas.”As currently written, the tax lid provision of the bill is scheduled to go into effect July 1 of this year, but Prairie Village Assistant to the City Administrator Nolan Sunderman said the intent was for that provision not to kick in until 2018.“Due to an error in drafting the legislation with the late changes, the effective date as it stands is July 1, 2015,” he said. “However, the legislature is returning for sine die on June 26 to hopefully correct this issue and make the effective date January 1, 2018.
March 1, 2015 Regular News FBBE vacancies to be filled Florida Board of Bar Examiners Vacancy : Lawyer applicants are being sought to fill two vacancies on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. The Board of Governors will be selecting six nominees for two lawyer vacancies at its May 22, 2015 meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill two five-year terms commencing November 1, 2015 and expiring on October 31, 2020.Attorney members must have been a member of The Florida Bar for at least five years. They must be practicing lawyers with scholarly attainments and have an affirmative interest in legal education and requirements for admission to the Bar. Appointment or election to the bench at any level of the court system will disqualify any applicant. Law professors or trustees are ineligible.Board members of the Bar Examiners must be able to attend approximately ten meetings a year in various Florida locations. Members should be willing and able to devote the equivalent of 3-4 days’ work a month, or up to 350 or more hours per year on Board business, depending on committee assignments. Actual travel expenses connected with the meetings and examinations are reimbursed.A link to the announcement and application can be found on The Florida Bar’s homepage at www.floridabar.org or call Bar headquarters at(850) 561-5757, to obtain the application form. Completed applications must be received by the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300 no later than the close of business on Friday, March 27, 2015. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews. FBBE vacancies to be filled
Share Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn As everyone who has gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom knows, the brain maintains a sense of place and a basic ability to navigate that is independent of external clues from the eyes, ears and other senses.A series of immersive virtual reality experiments has now confirmed that the human brain’s internal navigation system works in the same fashion as the grid cell system, a specialized neural network discovered in rats only 10 years ago, which has since been identified in a number of other mammals, including mice, bats and monkeys.The experiments were performed by a research team headed by Timothy McNamara, professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, and described in the June 29 issue of the journal Current Biology. Email Questions about the brain’s ability to navigate have engaged philosophers and scientists for a long time. For example, the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that perception of place was an innate ability independent of experience. In 1948 American experimental psychologist Edward Tolman proposed that the brain must maintain a map-like representation of its surroundings.But it wasn’t until the 1970s that an English scientist, John O’Keefe, found where this map-like representation was hidden in the brain when he discovered the existence of ‘place cells’ in the hippocampus. Place cells are specialized neurons that become active whenever a free roaming rat reaches a specific location in its environment. Because different place cells become active when the animal is in different places, large numbers of these cells could provide the basis of the spatial representation Tolman had proposed.In 2005, a team of Norwegian scientists headed by Edvard and May-Britt Moser discovered that place cells were only one part of a more sophisticated system that not only serves as the basis for spatial memory but also gives individuals their basic navigational sense. It is called the grid cell system and it is located in a narrow strip of tissue on the bottom of the brain called the entorhinal cortex. The EC acts as the main interface between the hippocampus and the neocortex.By tracing connections from the place cells in the hippocampus to the EC and by moving their rats from small cages to larger enclosures, the Mosers discovered a set of neurons with an astonishing firing pattern. Instead of becoming active at the single location like place cells, they became active at several locations. When rats were allowed to explore these large enclosures for extended periods of time, it became apparent that the locations at which a particular grid cell was active formed a remarkably regular grid-like pattern, similar to honeycomb. As a result, they were named grid cells.In 2014, O’Keefe and the Mosers received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries.Since grid cells were identified in animals, researchers have found circumstantial evidence that humans have a similar navigation system. For example, direct recordings of nerve activity in the brains of patients with epilepsy during pre-surgical investigations have found evidence for place-like cells in the hippocampus and grid-like cells in the EC. However, other experiments, which found that individuals with damage to their hippocampus and EC can maintain their sense of direction while blindfolded, have raised questions about the extent to which humans depend on this part of the brain to navigate.McNamara and his collaborators — Vanderbilt doctoral students Xiaoli Chen and Qiliang He, Jonathan Kelly from Iowa State University and Ila Fiete from the University of Texas, Austin — became interested in a series of experiments where the researchers had recorded how the rat’s grid cell system responds when the size of the its enclosure is altered. The researchers who performed the experiments found that the grid spacing increased when the enclosure was enlarged and decreased when the enclosure shrunk.The activity of individual grid cells does not identify specific locations by themselves. But seven years ago Fiete showed mathematically that the activity patterns of collections of grid cells could be translated into unique spatial positions.McNamara realized that they could perform some similar experiments for human participants using immersive virtual reality and apply Fiete’s model to see if the human navigation system operates in the same fashion as a grid-cell system.Specifically, the researchers created virtual enclosures of different sizes, had participants walk to a series of way markers (colored columns of light that appear one at a time and disappear when a participant reaches them), blanked out their view, asked them to find their way directly back to the first marker and recorded how close they came to its position. The first few trials were conducted in an enclosure that remained the same size. For the final trial, however, they changed one of the dimensions by as much as 40 percent.‘In most cases, the participants don’t even notice that the size of the enclosure has changed,’ said McNamara. ‘But, when it does change, the positions where they stop are significantly farther from the target than they are when the enclosure remains the same. When the enclosure increases in size they tend to undershoot and when it decreases they tend to overshoot.’The amounts that the participants undershot and overshot were remarkably consistent with what the studies with rats and Fiete’s model predicted if the individuals were being guided by a grid-cell system that had been fixed by the dimensions of the original enclosure.‘We still can’t say for certain that people use a grid-cell system to navigate,’ said McNamara. ‘But we can say that, if people use a different system, it seems to behave in exactly the same way.’
Nov 14, 2011Indonesia confirms H5N1 death in mother of 2 earlier victimsIndonesia’s Ministry of Health has confirmed H5N1 avian flu in the death of a 29-year-old mother of two children who also died of the disease, according to a report today from Bird Flu Information Corner, an Internet message board operated by Kobe University in Japan and Airlangga University in Indonesia. The report said the patient, from the resort island of Bali, felt weak, was coughing, and had breathing difficulty on Oct 15, when she was hospitalized. However, she escaped just before she was to be transferred to a referral hospital and was found in a place of alternative healing the next day. Her condition deteriorated, and she died at home on Oct 17. Her 5-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son died Oct 9 and Oct 10, respectively, of H5N1 avian flu. Many poultry deaths had been recently reported in the family’s flocks and those of their neighbors. If the woman’s death is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), it would bring Indonesia’s official H5N1 case count to 182, including 150 deaths.Oct 26 WHO report on children’s deathsStudy says T-cell response may help identify subclinical H5N1A research group from Oxford University exploring the prevalence of asymptomatic H5N1 avian influenza infections in an area of Vietnam that had experienced outbreaks found that T-cell interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assays could be a useful adjunct to serology, which has low sensitivity for detecting antibodies to the virus. They reported their findings in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. They obtained 747 blood samples from a community in northern Vietnam that had reported poultry outbreaks and human infections over the past decade. For a control group, they obtained serum samples from patients in the United Kingdom, as well an area of Vietnam where the virus has not been known to circulate. Twenty four (3.2%) participants in the exposed community had responses to the H5 hemagglutinin peptide pool, with little or no response to H1 or H3. They confirmed the responses by culturing ELISPOT assays and growing antigen-specific short-term T-cell lines and clones. Nearly 5% (37) of participants had antibody titers suggestive of H5N1 exposure. Only four had evidence exposure on both tests. The group concluded that although ELISPOT testing may be useful, more research is needed with cohorts in different geographic areas. They also studied 19 recovered H5N1 patients, only 3 of whom (16%) had H5-specific T-cell responses. They say this may be so “because T-cell responses are short-lived, as seen with seasonal influenza, and it is not known how long specific H5 T-cell responses may persist.”Nov 11 J Infect Dis study abstractIn a commentary on the study in the same issue, Susan Epstein, PhD, with the US Food and Drug Administration’s cellular and gene therapy division, said the study raises compelling questions, such as whether or not asymptomatic infections with H5 viruses not well adapted to humans stimulate T-cell, but not antibody, responses. She wrote that T-cell testing is still too cumbersome and expensive for widespread screening, though it may be useful for certain diagnostic purposes, such as testing family contacts in transmission studies.Nov 11 J Infect Dis commentary extractNewspaper report raises questions about contract for smallpox drugA Los Angeles Times report published yesterday has raised questions about the US government’s handling of a $433 million contract awarded in May to Siga Technologies Inc. for an antiviral to treat smallpox, saying the price of $255 per dose is well above what federal officials earlier said was reasonable. Siga announced in October 2010 that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intended to give it a contract worth up to $2.8 billion for its drug, ST-246. But the contract required that the winner be a small business, and Chimerix Inc., maker of a competing antiviral, protested, saying Siga was too big, according to the Times report. The federal Small Business Administration agreed, but the Obama administration decided to block all firms except Siga from bidding for the contract, asserting that it was the only firm capable of delivering a product within 5 years. The final contract for 1.7 million doses of ST-246 was awarded in May, after negotiations described as contentious. The story said that in March, Dr. Richard Hatchett, chief medical officer for HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, complained that Siga’s projected profit on the product at that point was 180%, which he considered “outrageous.” In April, after Siga complained about HHS’s approach to profit, Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, replaced the lead HHS negotiator on the deal, according to the story. Lurie told the Times that the contract was awarded strictly on merit. The story also says that billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, Siga’s controlling shareholder, is a longtime Democratic Party donor. In addition, the report raises questions about the need for the drug, noting that the government has enough smallpox vaccine for the entire population. The vaccine is regarded as likely to provide some protection if given within 4 days after exposure to the virus.Nov 13 LA Times storyJun 29 CIDRAP News item about change in Siga contractFeb 16 CIDRAP News item about contract award to ChimerixAnalysis shows diversity of swine-origin flu in humansUS swine-origin influenza viruses (SOIVs) collected from humans over the past two decades have been antigenically and genetically diverse, with only triple-reassortant SOIVs occurring since 1998, according to a study in Virology. Researchers analyzed 27 cases of SOIV reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1990 through 2010. All 6 of the viruses isolated from 1990 through 1995 were categorized as classical SOIVs, whereas all 21 isolated since 1998 have been triple-reassortant SOIVs. Of those 21, 13 were classified as H1N1, 1 as H1N2, and 7 as H3N2. The authors say the SOIVs were antigenically and genetically closely related to flu viruses circulating in pigs but not to those circulating in people. They write that their findings highlight “the importance of continued surveillance at the animal-human interface.” Their analysis did not include eight US cases identified since September of human infections with H3N2 SOIVs that contain genetic material from the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.Nov 10 Virol abstract
FLACL News:The Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries (FLACL) is hosting a $5 Bag Sale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in the lobby of Mesa Public Library at 2400 Central Ave. The funds raised through the Bag Sale and the Friends Bookstore directly benefit Los Alamos County libraries in many ways.The Youth Services Department, which creates and presents programs for ages 0-18 and intergenerational programming, is an annual beneficiary of Friends funding. In recent months, youth staff have added more Lego kits for building programs, materials to create ribbon bracelets for music programs, and more board games for both special programs and daily use within the library.“The money we get from the Friends enables us to get new and popular table top games, snacks for some programs, and some really wonderful toys for our regular community playdates,” Youth Services Director Melissa Mackey said. “And of course the Friends funded the step prizes for our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.”This past summer, library youth services staff and volunteers planned and participated in a program titled “A Universe of Possibilities”, which was the Consolidated Summer Reading Program that many libraries across the country participate in. The libraries hosted 122 events that included May the Fourth Be with You, a performance by Clan Tynker Performers, Robotics Fun, Stuffie Sleepovers, Family Campouts in the library, and a Moon Landing Party to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.More than 5,900 individuals of all ages participated in the 122 events held between May and September. Gaming+, a summer program at MPL in which middle and high school patrons play video games, board games, and make art was successful enough that library staff is continuing the program through the school year, 3:30-5 p.m. Thursdays in The Zone.The Friends also fund the junior, minion and teen volunteer programs, providing the money for treats, thank you gifts and t-shirts for participating youth.To learn more about activities for youth that take place in White Rock and Los Alamos, visit www.losalamosnm.us/government/departments/community_services/library or Facebook page Los Alamos County Community Services Department to see what is happening at the library. Call the Youth Services desk at Mesa Public Library at 505.662.8258 with questions about any youth program at either library.All these events plus so many others would not have been possible without the funding from Friends of LAC Libraries. Donations to the Friends, monetarily or with books or make purchases at the Friends Bookstore or the biannual Bag Sale, help young people engage socially and learn more about the world around them. Donations help families play, learn and read together. To learn more about FLACL, visit www.friends-lac-libraries.org or Facebook page Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries. FLACL is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1978.
Daily Postcard: During a recent hike in the Jemez, five dirty-faced baby golden-mantled ground squirrels are spotted cautiously emerging from their burrow for a look around. Photo by Marc Bailey
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